How I Hated Discipline

Posted on January 28, 2008 · Posted in Discipline, Parenting

How I Hated Discipline

11
At the end of your life you will groan,
       when your flesh and body are spent.

12 You will say, "How I hated discipline!
       How my heart spurned correction!

13 I would not obey my teachers
       or listen to my instructors.

14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin
       in the midst of the whole assembly."

Two recent
posts made a connection between the problems of midlife and the problems
parents face in childrearing. It is encouraging to see that God so wonderfully
provides for the issues of midlife in his Word. And also, it is essential to
see that what happens now in childrearing may well bear fruit when your
children reach midlife. Proverbs draws this comparison even more closely.

Have you
ever heard your children say that they are upset about discipline—or even hated
receiving discipline? Or if you haven’t heard them say these words, is it
likely that they are thinking them?  Proverbs
drives this point home deeply. If your children hate discipline, fearful results
await. Sadly, too often parents don’t stop to consider what their children
think of the discipline they receive. With the hectic schedules of daily life
it is easy to focus only on stopping bad behavior. But notice the chilling
testimony of the discipline hater in the verses above. While he may have been
“forced” to obey as a child, internally his heart hated this instruction. This
is why your discipline must move beyond behavior and focus on the heart. It is
not enough simply to correct.

If your
children are whiny and down after you discipline them, seeds of despair could
be in the early stages of sprouting. The
fruit of these seeds is vividly shown in  Proverbs 5. The hectic pressures of life
encourage parents to focus on behavior in childrearing. You feel pressure to
stop the disruptive behavior so that you can get to the next thing on the schedule.  While
this approach may help you make it to the next appointment, it also may “help”
your children to come to the brink of utter ruin.

Why not take
some to consider what your children think of the discipline they receive? Do
they receive discipline as adornment (Proverbs 1:8-9) or is discipline
something they fear and despise? By looking ahead and considering where heart
attitudes may lead—what fruit they might produce in the years ahead —you can discern
truth that your children need now. Ask God to help you take the steps to make
your discipline something that your children come to appreciate and not scorn.
Let us know what your thoughts are about Proverbs 5:11-14.

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